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Stealing some of the glitterball limelight from Strictly Come Dancing,  Sir Dancealot is out now from Bloomsbury. This nimble-toed young knight has a novel approach to combat – defeating his enemies through the medium of dance!

Sir Dancealot Cover

Written by acclaimed children’s author Timothy Knapman and illustrated by me, this is a hilarious story of sequinned clothes, dragon foes and twinkly toes.

Sir Dancealot spot illustrations by Keith Robinson

Sir Dancealot 'Disco Lights' Illustration

From jiving away trolls to boogying aside bogglesnots and bopping off beasties, there’s not a fearsome foe Sir Dancealot can’t defeat.
But when a fire-breathing dragon arrives at the castle gates demanding a dance-off, everyone is worried.
Could this be one step too far for our hero of the dance floor?

Sir Dancealot illustration by Keith Robinson

Tim’s rhyming romp was a joy to illustrate. Although drawing a dancing, ice-skating dragon did present some challenges!

Reviews: 

Lovereading4kids
*September 2016 Book of the Month*

“This zany idea is perfectly executed through a jolly rhyming text and lively illustrations. Kids will love the idea of Strictly with dragons”

Read It Daddy
“Sir Dancealot” is full of fun and bops along to its own  sequin-encrusted rhythm thanks to awesome writing from Timothy and brilliant energetic illustrations from Keith.

Mum To Five
“a much loved recent addition to the kid’s bookshelf”

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Blimey! I’m beyond excited to be working with Disney-Hyperion Books, creating all the artwork for The Percy Jackson Coloring Book.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians is a bestselling book series by Rick Riordan. It follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old who discovers he is a son of Poseidon. Percy and his friends meet gods, battle monsters, and take on the Titans from Greek mythology.

All of which is brilliant fun to draw! It’s going to take a while (the colouring book will run to over 90 pages), but in the meantime, here’s a sneak-peek at the cover.

PJ COLORING BOOK cover


 

In other news, I’ve just received my advance copies of Sir Dancealot from the lovely people at Bloomsbury. Hurrahalot!

Written by the brilliant Timothy Knapman, and illustrated by me, Sir Dancealot defeats all manner of fearsome beasts through the medium of dance, until one day, a light-footed dragon turns up.
‘A hilarious story of sequinned clothes, dragon foes and twinkly toes.’

I’ll post more about this when Sir Dancealot will hits bookstores and ballrooms in early September.

SirD-advance


 

And while we’re on the subject of dancing dragons, just for fun here’s a little Knight music to finish off with.
Adieu.

singing knight all

Behind the Book : Keith Robinson Discovers Modern Magic

June 17, 2015 9:54 am

This is a transcript of a blog interview by my lovely agents at The Bright Group. Special thanks to K.M Sharp for the word-smithery.

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Keith Robinson‘s diverse & distinguishable Bright portfolio has been a fiction favourite amongst clients for the past 3 years. His strong style and considered line work gained him the opportunity to work with up-and-coming Irish author Nigel Quinlan on his debut novel, The Maloney’s Magical Weatherbox (Orion).

STORY OVERVIEW: Neil and Liz Maloney’s dad is a Weatherman – but not the normal kind. He’s the person who makes sure the seasons change every year. This year, though, the Autumn hasn’t arrived and the weather is spiraling out of control. Witchcraft is at work, but can Neil and Liz stop the chaos before it’s literally the end of the world? 

 Here’s what Keith had to say about the intriguing project – 
Nigel’s vivid characters and fantastic situations, infused with Celtic magic, were wonderful to draw.
 
The illustrations were commissioned by editor Amber Caraveo at Orion Children’s Books. The brief was for 4 full-page illustrations for the start of each section of the book. The story is told in alternating chapters by the main protagonists, Neil and Liz. So for each part of the book I also drew a chapter heading vignette for Neil and one for Liz (eight in total), featuring a key moment in that section of the story.
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character-studies
 
I was sent the manuscript, which I read while on holiday last year and really fell in love with the characters and the strange world of the Weathermen, so when I came to start drawing I already had a very clear image in my mind.
 
This is absolutely my favourite kind of subject: ancient magic colliding with the everyday modern world. The illustrations were mainly drawn using a brush and ink, with dip pen and fine-liners for detail. I wanted to create strong contrasts of black and white with dynamic compositions to convey the drama and magic of the story. I also drew a lot of character sketches to get in touch with the strong personalities of Neil and Liz.
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Neil and Liz are very modern kids but the book is in the classic tradition of children’s fantasy, bringing to mind Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and Neil Gaiman. So I wanted the illustrations to be contemporary but to also feel like part of the tradition of children’s fantasy book illustration, drawing on the influences of some of my own illustration heroes such as  Arthur Rackham, Paulline Baynes and Charles Vess.
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Nothing to do with American presidential elections… Just some superhero pictures, because it’s Tuesday, so why not?

superhero_col  superhero_lift

superhero_fly

organ_robot

Someone should warn Exeter Cathedral that their organ is actually a huge scary steampunk transformer robot.

 

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To celebrate this literary milestone Guernsey Post commissioned me to create a set of stamps and collectable products. Stamps? Alice in Wonderland? Suffice to say it was pretty much a dream project.

Alice Set of 6 StampsAlice Mini Sheet

My central idea was, what would postage stamps from Wonderland look like? I referenced vintage stamps from around the time of the book’s publication, which typically feature a portrait with decorative frame and border. I used bright colours in carefully chosen combinations, to bring out the slightly psychedelic feeling of the book. The character portraits also had to be instantly recognisable out of context of the book, which meant connecting with a popular consciousness of Wonderland while bringing something fresh to the familiar characters. The illustrations were also designed with the final postage stamp size of reproduction in mind.

Print

For the characters, I went to the sort of ‘central casting’ that I carry around in my head. I quite often approach characters in this way – try to think who I’d cast as them in a film. It usually ends up being an amalgam of several people – and not necessarily famous people. There might be elements of Friends, family or people I’ve sketched on the Tube.

I wanted Alice to be a modern little girl, so I updated her outfit, hairband and hairstyle. She’s about 90% based on my daughter actually. (Who just happens to have a pet flamingo. No, not really.)

The rabbit is sort of based on Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s army as he’s a pompous character, obsequious to his superiors and disdainful to his juniors.

I had the Beat Generation writer William Burroughs in mind for the caterpillar. He’s got that wonderful voice – that’s JUST how the caterpillar would speak!

And the Hatter is quite unashamedly Terry Thomas. By the way, you might notice his hat is a giant tea cup and the famous price tag on the hat is  like one of those dunking tea bags on a string. (Incidentally the price is now 52 and a half pence, which I read somewhere is about the modern equivalent of the classic ‘In this style, 10/6’ on the original illustrations!)

Print pres pack

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Click on the image to see more of my Christmas misadventures…

BAFTA win for Long Lost Family

longlost

I designed the titles and logo for the first series of this hit ITV show, which seeks to reunite close relatives after years of separation. It returns for it’s fourth series this summer.

Congratulations to production company Wall to Wall for the show’s recent BAFTA win in the Features category.


Rediscovered Chinese Masterpiece

spring

Listening to the radio one morning, I heard Spring in a Small Town described as ‘The Chinese Brief Encounter‘. That has to be worth watching.

Regarded as the finest work from the first great era of Chinese filmmaking, Fei Mu’s quiet, piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair – now restored – is a remarkable rediscovery. – BFI

The film was originally suppressed and long thought lost, but rediscovered in the ‘80s, it was soon hailed as one of the finest Chinese movies ever made.

The BFI has now re-released this long lost classic, which is available to rent online and is also on limited cinema release. More details HERE.


 Blackwing Pencils

blackwing

I’ve heard much about the legendary Blackwing pencil, beloved of Golden Era animators such as Chuck Jones and the great Ken Harris.

In his book The Animator’s Survival Kit, Ken’s friend and collaborator Richard Williams recalls: When he (Ken) died in 1982 at eighty-three, my real regret was that when I was a pallbearer I didn’t have the guts to tuck a Blackwing pencil into his hand in his open coffin. He would have loved that.

The Blackwing’s roots go back to the 1930’s but it was discontinued in 1998. I thought it was lost forever, save for a few individual pencils, changing hands for silly money on eBay. But now this iconic doodling tool has been revived by Palomino.

 

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